Healing through Art & Creativity: Interview with Nicolle Cure
Nicolle Cure is a Colombian-American artist living and working in Miami. In 2018, she was the sole recipient of the Leaders with Disabilities Scholarship awarded by Americans for the Arts for her work raising awareness about hearing loss and invisible disabilities. Her mixed media abstract art has been showcased at Miami Art Week and Art Basel Miami, and at art fairs from South Korea and China to Colombia. Her work is also sold at selected West Elm stores in the United States and has been featured in several magazines and blogs, focused on both fine art and hearing health. Nicolle earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from the University of Florida and an Associate in Arts in Computer Arts Animation from Miami Dade College. She also holds academic certificates from the Sotheby's Institute of Art.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Nicolle Cure. I am a Colombian-American abstract painter based in Miami, Florida. After experiencing Sudden Unilateral Hearing Loss in 2017, I felt a need to create a new collection of vibrant mixed-media works titled The Colors of Sound. For this series, I used fluid and highly pigmented acrylics, oil pastels, and other types of media to interpret sound in a visual form.
Art has played such an important role in your life. Can you talk about your experience with Sudden Unilateral Hearing Loss and how that brought you closer to art?
The horrible symptoms that come with sudden hearing loss and vestibular (balance) problems are debilitating and isolating. If it weren't for art in my life, I think it would have been very difficult to manage the high levels of anxiety and depression I was experiencing. Art gave me the extra power I needed to start getting back on my feet, and it was the most important medicine for my body and my mind. Dealing with chronic health conditions is frustrating and it takes your emotions on an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. Some days you feel hopeful if you experience a slight improvement while other days you feel weak and guilty for having to rely on others and for being inactive in your practice because of the need to rest for long periods of time. Getting back in my studio little by little after my hearing loss was a pivotal point in my career, I felt I had a purpose that allowed me to create more and communicate what I was going through. Art was and still is my therapy.
How has your career developed since then?
My hearing loss launched me in a different direction, with an amazing opportunity to learn and give back. While looking for answers, I came across wonderful people and organizations that understood my pain and my struggles. I became an advocate of hearing health since then, and I have had the honor to partner with global organizations who work hard on researching a cure for hearing loss and other related conditions. I always say that my art is the fuel that ignites my passion for helping others –– I use art as a tool to create beauty around me and support the causes I believe in.
You recently launched a new series of paintings - congratulations! Can you tell us about the inspiration and process behind this body of work?
My new collection, The Colors of Sound SUPERNOVA, captures and illustrates the life cycle of stars in studies of light and dark. Created out of acrylic and ink washes, these colorful portraits of supernovas depict the beauty and rebirth that come from the greatest cataclysms in the known universe. These works are companions to my series The Colors of Sound, where the main focus was to use painting as a way to reconnect to sound. The paintings were synesthetic interpretations of sounds, as well as stops along the way on my therapeutic journey.
SUPERNOVA intends to return to that painting approach but with the outlook I have now, standing on the other side of a battle with Hyperacusis and Tinnitus caused by my hearing loss. Supernovas became a way for me to discuss my passage through an ending to the other side. In the aftermath of the supernova explosion, the colors hang in space for a time, like the gravestone of a star or the birthmark of something new. At first, it is inconceivable that even stars can die. But once gone, they leave behind this gift of renewal. The supernova, for all of its power, is silent — speaking only in color, heat, and force. The supernova sounds the way it looks, because you can only hear it through the eye.
What is your best advice for emerging artists?
Hard work and discipline are the most important ingredients to achieve success. Of course, success looks different to everyone; for me, it means attaining a well-balanced life where I get to enjoy my art practice while at the same time carving time for personal relations and healthy rituals like meditation, more conscious breathing, reading books, and long walks. That balance is not easy to attain but certainly not impossible. Since the world is more demanding every day, we need to learn to let go off of certain things that don't serve us while focusing on pursuing projects that we love and make us not only better artists, but better individuals.
Is there a motto or quote you live by?
Be kind always, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. This resonates now more than ever considering the climate of the world, but it always has been my #1 motto. Also, suffering from invisible disabilities opens your eye to the lack of empathy from some around us who don't know how to interact with a person who is suffering. Living by this philosophy makes us equal and open to understanding the pain others are experiencing, even if we know nothing about it.
Are there any exciting projects or exhibitions coming up that you'd like to share?
I am currently working on developing new partnerships with global retailers to include my art print collection in their catalog, similar to what I have been doing with West Elm/Williams Sonoma; as well as working with amazing interior designers. I will be releasing a collection of original paper works from SUPERNOVA during the fall while I continue working on commissions for private projects, which is always very rewarding and exciting.
Another thing I am excited about is my relationship with PxP Contemporary, a remarkable gallery partner that supports extraordinary womxn artists who deserve recognition while offering us valuable opportunities in the art world. It is a real joy to work with a gallery that believes in you and champions your work and your vision.
Supernova Collection: https://www.nicollecure.com/the-colors-of-sound-supernova-collection
Interview by Alicia Puig
Alicia Puig is the CEO and co-founder of PxP Contemporary, Director of Business Operations for Create! Magazine, an arts writer, and co-author of the book "The Complete Smartist Guide". She has worked in the arts industry for over ten years both in the US and abroad. Her writing has been featured in publications and on blogs including Create! Magazine, Pikchur Magazine, and Art She Says, among others. Additionally, she has curated and co-curated exhibitions at Kutztown University, Hastings College, and the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
Personal website: www.aliciapuig.com
Personal Instagram: @puigypics